A Simple Chicken Karahi recipe

A quick and tasty recipe for one of Pakistan’s most beloved dishes, DESIblitz shows you how to cook a sweet and spicy Chicken Karahi.

Chicken Karahi recipe

The dish is popular at large gatherings and events such as weddings.

One of Pakistan’s most traditional dishes, Chicken Karahi is a sweet and spicy curry dish cooked with remarkably few ingredients.

Endlessly customisable, the Chicken Karahi can be enjoyed by any taste palate.

The core ingredients of tomatoes, green chilli and spices give the dish an intense heat and a calming sweet after taste that warms the taste buds without blowing them away.

DESIblitz teaches you how to prepare this quick and delicious meal!

In this version, we do not use onions for the base sauce. But you may use them to add more caramelisation to the dish.

Chicken Karahi (serves two, prep time 15 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes)


  • 500g chicken cut into medium sized pieces
  • 2 decent sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 5-7 green chillies depending on size
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek
  • 2 tbsp red chilli
  • 1 tbsp ground garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp butter

Chicken Karahi


  1. Cook the chicken in a high temperature, well oiled pan for a few minutes until it has been seared.
  2. Once seared, mix in ginger paste.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Chicken KarahiAdd the fenugreek, coriander, garam masala and red chilli and stir until the water starts to draw out of the tomatoes.
  5. Add yoghurt and chopped green chillies, stir well and reduce to a medium heat.
  6. Keep stirring to avoid burning the sauce.
  7. Chicken KarahiOnce the water starts to dry up and the sauce takes on a thicker texture, add butter.
  8. Stir thoroughly, take off the heat and serve with a garnish of green chillies and chopped ginger.

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi, also known as Kadai Chicken, is a Pakistani take on a dish familiar across South Asia, and is thought to have originated from the Balochistan region.

The dish is a family favourite, popular at large gatherings and events such as weddings. The dish is usually cooked kilos at a time and eaten with naan bread.

Indian and Pakistani Karahi Chicken dishes have minor variations also.

In India, the dish includes onions and capsicum, giving it a more savoury flavour and bursting with heat, a dish that’s not for those of delicate taste buds.

The metal Karahi pan, which also goes by Korai, Kadai and Cheena Chatti, is used across South Asia in countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

It shares a lot of similarities with the wok, although it has steeper edges. It is normally made of cast iron, although you can also find ones made from ceramic and other metals.

Chicken KarahiSome suggest that Karahi is the etymological origin of the English word ‘curry’, although that is a source of debate.

The pan is used to cook and mostly serve a variety of different sabzis, daals and curries, including balti dishes. Sometimes the pan is also referred to as a balti itself.

Chicken Karahi is a great dish for those new to South Asian cuisine. Really simple to make, from ingredients you may already have at home, and it has a wonderful warm colour to it that makes it look extremely appetising.

Green chillies aside, the dish itself doesn’t pride itself on heat, and has a subtle and complex flavour balance that tastes fresh, is aromatic and will have you going back for second and third helpings without even thinking.

Tom is a political science graduate and an avid gamer. He has a great love of science fiction and chocolate, but only the latter has made him gain weight. He has no life motto, instead just a series of grunts.

Photos by DESIblitz. Additional image courtesy of Mina Halal

Recipe adapted from kfoods

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